We'll start this out saying that we're longtime fans of Mariah Carey. After buying more than one greatest hits package by the diva (yes, that means #1's and Greatest Hits and The Remixes), we have a few thoughts on where her just-unveiled "Infinity" single—off her updated #1's collection—fits in the scope of her career.
Okay, so: The subject matter. After her Emancipation of Mimi comeback a decade ago, Mariah's found chart success with cheeky singles like "Touch My Body" and "Obsessed" (both Top 10 hits, the former being her 18th No. 1) while stumbling elsewhere (Miguel duet "#Beautiful" stalled at No. 15, while excellent ballads like "I Stay in Love," "H.A.T.E.U." and "Angels Cry" didn't even chart). "Infinity" is another ballsy kissoff track with sometimes contrived lyrics ("You actin' so corny like Frito's"), but it's believable given her separation with ex-hubby Nick Cannon. The best and most clever line has got to be "Everything you own, boy, you still own" (i.e. you know the girl signed that pre-nup!). It's all a bit reminiscent to how we all knew "Obsessed" was totally about Eminem without her explicitly saying it. Subject-wise, this single is on point.
Now, let's talk about the vocals. The "to infinity-y-y-y" hook is undoubtedly the catchiest part of the track, but it might be one of her weakest vocal moments captured on record. There's a lack of strength that makes the hook sound more like a pretty wheeze than controlled long note. But that becomes all the more confusing when Mimi absolutely nails a belt at the 3:10 mark in classic Mariah style. The vocals are hit and miss here.
Moving onto the production, "Infinity" is one of Mariah's more regal tracks, with stirring strings, booming kettledrums and twinkling synths. It makes sense as the crown jewel of a greatest hits package, but doesn't exactly scream "hit!!!" in 2015, which makes it a little awkward when you're including this on a disc of your chart-topping hits.
While there's a few missteps, "Infinity" more or less feels like a step in the right direction for Mariah and will likely stand as an excellent addition to the singer's singles discography even if it doesn't end up being her 19th No. 1.
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